"Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."---Ephesians 5:1-5(NIV)
After that quote is there anything else that really needs to be said?!?
Probably not, but y'all know me. (LOL)
Recently, I was sitting in a marriage counseling session. As the (ex) husband was going on about what the Word, which is God (John 1:1), says surrounding the reasons why a couple can divorce (adultery-Matthew 19:1-12-Message), I thought about the fact that we "cheat on God" on a daily basis (he did say that if we loved him, we would keep his commandments, right?-John 15:10, I John 5:2-3) and personally, I can only imagine where I'd be if he "divorced me" because of it. God hates divorce and a part of the reason why is because he doesn't do it (wow Holy Spirit!-Malachi 2:16).
You know, sometimes life can dish out *so much* that you find yourself realizing that when the Spirit said that he would never leave or forsake us, that of all of the things that God and his kingdom have to offer, that really is more than enough. To be loved in an everlasting way (Jeremiah 31:3) to the point that you don't have to worry about *ever* being abandoned by the Creator is...so comforting, so blessed, so divine. No wonder Hebrews 13:5 said that we should be content in just knowing that. Wow. Even God has moments when he feels like his love for us should simply be...*enough*.
As I was praying during the session of what to say, the Spirit brought the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) to my remembrance. Here was a father who wasn't perfect (*no man is*), who had a son who didn't appreciate what his father was doing. So, his son asked for his inheritance and abandoned (withdrew from and [gave] (oneself) over to natural impulses, usually without self-control) his father and went out and did his own thing. Only to return and be *celebrated* for coming back. He didn't immediately return...but he did eventually.
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
"But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry."---Luke 15:20-24(NKJV)
I shared with that couple that *real love* looks like that parable. People are human and humans make mistakes. There's simply no way around that and it's kind of well, crazy, to know that a perfect God loves us in spite of ourselves, yet so many of us are not be willing to love others who are just like us (humans and sinners-I John 1:9-10). Yet, the love that is displayed by the father in that story is so remarkable *and restorative*. When the child who left his father came back home, the father *had compassion*, he ran and kissed him. And he brought his son his absolute best. And yes, they partied...happily so!
*Even after the father had given some of his best*...even after being brokenhearted by his son, he still had more to give. His son had been dead in many ways and now he was alive (confession does bring forth healing-James 5:16). His son was lost and now he was found. To the father, that's really all that mattered. All of the other was simply...extra.
That's how God loves us.
And, that's the example that a godly man takes notice of (and shoot, a godly woman for that matter).
When I went to look up the definitions for the word "example" here are two definitions that I found:
Example: a person, action, thing, etc, that is worthy of imitation; pattern; a precedent, illustration of a principle, or model
It was a woman by the name of Catherine Aird who once said, “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.” Now, I don't know about y'all, but most of the men from my "romantic life past" may have had a few things that I *really liked* about them (um, obviously), but honestly, I don't think that I ever thought about if they were the kind of men that I wanted to *imitate* or *pattern my life* after. And doesn't that within itself present the godly mandate of submission in an entirely new light?
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."---Ephesians 5:22-24(NKJV)
So many women literally fight GOD on this matter either by thinking that as helpmates (Genesis 2:18) that it's their role to change a man (it's not; it's also to be an example-I Peter 3:1-6) or being upset about the kind of husband that they have to submit to, when if you look at this from an "example perspective", if you picked a man who imitates, patterns himself after and models the Godhead, *what would be wrong with submitting to that*? If your husband is *truly godly*, wouldn't you *want* to use him as an example of how to live your own life? *Especially* since one definition of submit is "to subject to some kind of treatment or influence".
Most of y'all know that I work with a porn ministry. Oftentimes, on that platform, I will share that I believe that fornication can cause you to have multiple personalities. After all, if you are joining yourself to someone who you are not in covenant with who is not an example of godliness (and if he were, he wouldn't be having sex with you-I Corinthians 6:15-17), why wouldn't their personality traits and habits rub off on you? (Just one more reason why God does not want us to fornicate!-Hebrews 13:4) Yet, the more time that I spend abstinent, the more I am detoxing from my sexual past and the more that I am seeing who *Shellie really is*. The 80 billionth reason why sex outside of marriage is not God's best for you. It takes you away from you.
Now, please believe that a sistah is *all for* being naked and not ashamed (Genesis 2:24-25) with the *one person* who God has for me (LOL). Yet, don't you see? With *that one*, if I take this mini-series to heart, by choosing a *truly godly man* who strives to pattern his life after God in word and deed *in public and in private*, being with him, *in every way*, will only cause me to become more of who I'm purposed to be in the first place: my Creator. Remember that I Timothy 2:14(NKJV) says, "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression." Women *need* godly husbands to pattern their lives after. We were created to help our husbands and so Satan guns for us in very cryptic ways. God knows *just what he's doing* when he put the boundary of submission in place. Yet, he didn't do it with the intention of us marrying men who don't have an intimate relationship with him, with men who influence us to go *blatantly* against the Word of God, with men who say one thing in "the light" and something else in "the dark"...with men who are not mature enough as disciples to *even consider* taking on the leadership role of a husband (Hebrews 5:12-14).
Whether you're in an *intentional relationship* now or you're praying about the one that is to come, this was a good word from the Spirit. *Please* be careful about who you choose to pattern your life after because according to the Word, if he's not walking in love, if he's not living a life of sexual purity, if he's not careful about what he says, if he's not a thankful person...if he's immoral, impure or greedy, if he's an idolator (which would include *putting you before God*), he's not the kind of example that God wants for you.
That lead quote is so stellar.
IF "HE", BY HIS EXAMPLE, IS NOT LEADING YOU CLOSER TO GOD, THEN "HE" (AT LEAST FOR NOW) IS NOT "THE ONE". PERIOD.
You know how patterns go. If he's not godly...*cut it out*.